The Oude Kerk began life as a simple wooden chapel in 1306, but today rates as Amsterdam’s most interesting church. It’s easy to imagine the Sunday Mass chaos during its heyday in the mid-1500s, when it had 38 altars, each with its own guild-sponsored priest. Now it serves more as a radical contrast to the surrounding Red Light District, but still holds lessons: the inscription over the bridal chamber states ‘marry in haste, mourn in leisure’. Keep your eyes peeled for the floor grave of Rembrandt’s wife Saskia, who died in 1642. Also note the Gothic and Renaissance façade above the northern portal, and the stained-glass windows, parts of which date from the 16th and 17th centuries. For shock value, check out the carvings in the choir benches of men evacuating their bowels – they tell a moralistic tale. Occasional art shows exhibit a range of fascinating subjects, from contemporary local art to the World Press Photo Exhibition.
|Venue name:||Oude Kerk|
|Opening hours:||Open 11am-5pm Mon-Sat; 1-5.30pm Sun.|
|Transport:||Tram 4, 9, 16, 24, 25.|
|Price:||Admission €5; free-€4 reductions, MK.|